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Say first, for heaven hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of hell; say first, what cause
Moved our grand parents, in that happy state,
Favored of heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress his will
For one restraint, lords of the world besides?
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?
The infernal serpent; he it was, whose guile,
Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived
The mother of mankind, what time his pride
Had cast him out of heaven, with all his host
Of rebel angels; by whose aid, aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have equalled the Most High,
If he opposed; and, with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God,
Raised impious war in heaven, and battle proud,
With vain attempt. Him the Almighty power
Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition; there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded, though immortal: but his doom
Reserved him to more wrath! for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him: round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witnessed huge affliction and dismay,
Mixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate;
At once, as far as angels ken, he views
The dismal situation, waste and wild;
A dungeon horrible on all sides round,
As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames
No light; but rather darkness visible,
Served only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell; hope never comes
That comes to all: but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed:
Such place eternal justice had prepared
For those rebellious; here their prison ordained
In utter darkness, and their portion set
As far removed from God and light of heaven,
As from the center thrice to the utmost pole.
O, how unlike the place from whence they fell!
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelmed
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns; and weltering by his side
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and named
ADDRESS TO THE MUSE.-HOMER.
Achilles' wrath, to Greece the direful spring
Of woes unnumbered, heavenly goddess, sing!
The wrath which hurled to Pluto's gloomy reign
The souls of mighty chiefs untimely slain;
Whose limbs unburied on the naked shore,
Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore;
Since great Achilles and Atrides strove.
Such was the sovereign doom, and such the will of Jove!
Declare, O muse! in what ill-fated hour
Sprung the fierce strife from what offended power?
Latona's son a dire contagion spread,
And heaped the camp with mountains of the dead;
The king of men his reverend priest defied,
And for the king's offense the people died.
For Chrysis sought with costly gifts to gain
His captive daughter from the victor's chain.
Suppliant the venerable father stands,
Apollo's awful ensigns grace his hands;
By these he begs; and lowly bending down,
Extends the scepter and the laurel crown.
He sued to all, but chief implored for grace
The brother-kings of Atreus' royal race.
Ye kings and warriors! may your vows be crowned,
And Troy's proud walls lie level with the ground.
May Jove restore you, when your toils are o'er,
Safe to the pleasures of your native shore;
But oh! relieve a wretched parent's pain,
And give Chryseis to these arms again;
If mercy fail, yet let my presents move,
And dread avenging Phoebus, son of Jove.
The Greeks in shouts their joint assent declare,
The priest to reverence, and release the fair.
Not so Atrides: he with kingly pride,
Repulsed the sacred sire, and thus replied:
Hence, on thy life, and fly these hostile plains,
Nor ask, presumptuous, what the king detains;
Hence, with thy laurel crown and golden rod,
Nor trust too far those ensigns of thy god.
Mine is thy daughter, priest, and shall remain ;
And prayers, and tears, and bribes, shall plead in vain,
'Till time shall rifle every youthful grace,
And age dismiss her from my cold embrace,
In daily labors of the loom employed,
Or doomed to deck the bed she once enjoyed.
Hence then, to Argos shall the maid retire,
Far from her native soil and weeping sire.
The trembling priest along the shore returned,
And in the anguish of a father, mourned.
Disconsolate, not daring to complain,
Silent he wandered by the sounding main:
Till, safe at distance, to his god he prays,
The god who darts around the world his rays.
O Smintheus! sprung from fair Latona's line,
Thou guardian power of Cilla the divine,
Thou source of light! whom Tenedos adores,
And whose bright presence gilds thy Chrysa's shores :
If e'er with wreaths I hung thy sacred fane,
Or fed the flames with fat of oxen slain;
God of the silver bow! thy shafts employ,
Avenge thy servant, and the Greeks destroy.
Thus Chrysis prayed: the favoring power attends, And from Olympus' lofty top descends.
Bent was his bow, the Grecian hearts to wound,
Fierce as he moved, his silver shafts resound.
Breathing revenge, a sudden night he spread,
And gloomy darkness rolled around his head.
'The fleet in view, he twanged his deadly bow,
And hissing fly the feathered fates below.
On mules and dogs the infection first began;
And last, the vengeful arrows fixed on man.
For nine long nights through all the dusky air,
The pyres, thick-flaming, shot a dismal glare.
But ere the tenth revolving day was run,
Inspired by Juno, Thetis' godlike son
Convened to council all the Grecian train;
For much the goddess mourned her heroes slain.
THE BALLAD OF THE OYSTERMAN.-HOLMES.
It was a tall young oysterman lived by the river-side,
His shop was just upon the bank, his boat was on the tide ;
The daughter of a fisherman, that was so straight and slim,
Lived over on the other bank, right opposite to him.
It was the pensive oysterman that saw a lovely maid,
Upon a moonlight evening, a sitting in the shade;
He saw her wave her handkerchief, as much as if to say,
"I'm wide awake young oysterman, and all the folks away."
Then up arose the oysterman, and to himself said he,
"I guess I'll leave the skiff at home, for fear that folks should
I read it a story-book, that for to kiss his dear,
Leander swam the Hellespont, and I will swim this here."
And he has leaped into the waves, and crossed the shining
And he has clambered up the bank, all in the moonlight gleam; O there were kisses sweet as dew, and words as soft as rain,But they have heard her father's step, and in he leaps again!
Out spoke the ancient fisherman,-"O what was that, my daughter?""
""Twas nothing but a pebble, sir, I threw into the water;" "And what is that, pray tell me, love, that paddles off so fast?" "It's nothing but a porpoise, sir, that's been a swimming past."
Out spoke the ancient fisherman,-" Now bring me my harpoon!
I'll get into my fishing-boat, and fix the fellow soon;"
Down fell that pretty innocent, as falls the snow-white lamb, Her hair dropped round her pallid cheeks, like sea-weed on a clam.
Alas for these two loving ones! she waked not from her swound, And he was taken with the cramp, and in the waves was drowned;
But fate has metamorphosed them in pity of their woe,
And now they keep an oyster-shop for mermaids down below.
And still her gray rocks tower above the sea
That crouches at their feet, a conquered wave;
'Tis a rough land of earth, and stone, and tree,
Where breathes no castled lord or cabined slave;
Where thoughts, and tongues, and hands, are bold and free,
And friends will find a welcome-foes a grave;
And where none kneel, save when to heaven they pray,
Nor even then, unless in their own way.
Theirs is a pure republic, wild, yet strong,
A " fierce democracie," where all are true
To what themselves have voted-right or wrong—
And to their laws, denominated blue;
(If red, they might to Draco's code belong ;)
A vestal state, which power could not subdue, Nor promise win-like her own eagle's nest, Sacred-the San Marino of the west.
A justice of the peace, for the time being,
They bow too, but may turn him out next year;
They reverence their priest, but disagreeing
In price or creed, dismiss him without fear;
They have a natural talent for foreseeing
And knowing all things;-and should Park appear
From his long tour in Africa, to show
The Niger's source, they 'd meet him with--we know.